And so ends our first year of visiting a doctor’s office every single month. I don’t even recall how many ultrasounds I’ve gone through. There were five months I took Clomid. John has had two analysis’ done. I had an HSG test, blood work over and over, and my first IUI. Just like the girl who thinks she’ll magically get pregnant when she begins trying, I thought I’d get pregnant as soon as I was in a doctor’s office. Naive.

I’ve learned a lot in the past year.

I’ve learned about the good in people and just how much they want to be involved in this process. So many family, friends, and strangers reach out to us on a weekly basis checking in and offering support. We no longer have to carry around frustration or anger when someone asks why we don’t want children. Everyone is in on the secret, and most days we’re all on the same team.

I’ve learned that you can tell people exactly how to navigate something, and they’ll still do the complete opposite. Part of me thinks that women have become so competitive that even something as beautiful as motherhood is something to “show off.” And just to be clear, I’m not saying hide your children from me or never talk about them. I love other people’s children all day long, five days a week. It’s my job. It doesn’t really matter what I’m saying though because…revisit the first sentence of this paragraph.

I’ve learned that you have to be your own advocate in all things. When you don’t have answers, it’s your job to seek them out. When people don’t understand, you educate them. And when it all feels like too much, you take as much time as you need for self-care.

I’ve learned that many states refuse to cover fertility treatments because politics. Our latest HSG test alone was $1600.

I’ve learned that going through this will make or break a marriage.

And ultimately I’ve learned how to create balance in all of this. You become consumed by infertility. At some point, you have to swing the pendulum back though. Infertility is not me, but I am infertile. Maybe.

At the end of December, I’ll be taking a new drug, Letrozole. We will try to conceive naturally while taking this for the first month. My follicles look great. I have way too many eggs. (In fact, they are approaching that with caution since I don’t want my own reality show any time soon.) The doctor seemed confident that I did not ovulate in December, so the medication should help if that in fact is the issue.

After a month of Letrozole, we will get into trigger shots (to help me ovulate) and IUIs (artificial insemination) ¬†for a couple of months. My last IUI was super painful, so I can’t explain my excitement when I found out we would be trying up to two more. I hear birth is pretty painful too though, so I’ll hold back my complaints.

I just hope this space has been more than my personal form of therapy this year. I hope it has encouraged you to seek answers if you feel like you’re struggling to start a family. I hope it has made you think twice about what you say and how you say it, especially to couples without children. And if you are in the midst of all of this, I hope it has made you want to high five, take a shot, or simply hold hands while we cry and scream together. That was my purpose from the beginning.

I was looking for the girl in the middle of the storm just like me. And when I didn’t find her, I created her.


Photography by ABLewisPhotography